Urian – an uninvited guest, whose encounter is usually quite undesirable, and the title given to The Hirsch Effekt’s new album. Due to be released on September 29th, 2023, via Long Branch Records.
There’s prog metal and then there is the prog metal that The Hirsch Effekt play. A band that seems to revel in delivering something unexpected but enjoyable in so many different ways. It takes a brave band to open their new album with something so dramatic, melodic and emotive, but that’s what The Hirsch Effekt do with Agora. It is an early taste of their enviable harmonious ways.
After such an emotionally wrought listen, a change in tone is welcome with Otus, and there is an argument to be said that the album actually starts here. With The Hirsch Effekt creating a bright and beautiful progressive soundscape that is undeniably immersive. A strong sense of drama, touches of genre-blending, and unbelievable grandeur through and through. It’s a stunner of a track.
Though, there are very few moments across the entirety of the album that are found lacking.
The pairing of 2054 and the title track are even stronger examples of how experimental The Hirsch Effekt are willing to be. With both, they showcase their heavier side, but individually, they offer up so many different threads to follow. There’s technical chaos, crowd-pleasing anthemic vocals, monumental death-infused heaviness, progressive harmonics, and so much more across both efforts. Not egregious examples of progressive metal, but not without some notable strangeness here and there.
It’s near impossible to not love how creative The Hirsch Effekt are proving to be here, and with Stegodon, they prove again, that they can make the listener feel so much with their melodies. There may not be a prettier sounding track on the entire album. Another giant amongst giants.
Then along comes Granica, and a heightening of the melodrama that The Hirsch Effekt have infused into this record. Followed by Blud, a return to a more feral and furious sound. The Hirsch Effekt infusing a lot of aggression and passion into a melody-coated and atmosphere-laden effort. Before Eristys wraps up this album of the year contender in style. A style that features cinematic ambience, subtle melodies, and heartfelt vocals. A perfect bookend when you take into account what The Hirsch Effekt began this album with.
An outstanding release that delivers an elating experience. One of the most creative records of 2023. The Hirsch Effekt will leave many people open-mouthed at what they have accomplished here.
The Hirsch Effekt – Urian Track Listing:
The Hirsch Effekt - Urian (Long Branch Records)
The Final Score - 10/10